HealthDay News — An experimental vaccine therapy shows promise in treating glioblastoma, according to a study published online in Clinical Cancer Research.
Investigators tested the safety of the chemotherapy/vaccine combination in 11 patients. Patients received an intensified dose of temozolomide, followed by at least 6 vaccine injections. The vaccine therapy targets cytomegalovirus antigen pp65.
The vaccine treatments were well tolerated, the researchers found. Four of the 11 patients in this study survived for more than 5 years after vaccine/chemotherapy treatment.
“While not a controlled efficacy study, the survival results were surprising, and they suggest the possibility that combining the vaccine with a more intense regimen of this chemotherapy promotes a strong cooperative benefit,” lead author Kristen Batich, MD, PhD, from the Duke Cancer Institute in New Haven, Connecticut, said in an institute news release. “Our strategy was to capitalize on the immune deficiency caused by the temozolomide regimen. It seems counter-intuitive, but when the patient’s lymphocytes are depleted, it’s actually an optimal time to introduce the vaccine therapy. It basically gives the immune system marching orders to mount resources to attack the tumor.”
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.